The hatred of sin and sinner?
Last week my small group somehow stumbled onto an incendiary topic, when one person stated that as "the old testament tells us that God hates the wicked," those who we would consider sinners today are still unloved by God.
I felt strongly, as several others did that this was a simple case of restating a somewhat cliche phrase, and tried to calm the situation by saying, "no, i believe that God hates wickedness - God hates sin, but loves the sinner."
However, i was rebuffed by more arguments. Most of the reasoning was as follows -
- God only loves us because we are currently following Christ, and as such, he loves the reflection of Christ in us.
- Those who live outside of Christ's love can not be loved by a God who abhors evil or sin.
I find myself mulling my own beliefs to this extent, mostly because I always struggle with balancing what I know to be true about the justified wrath and judgement of God in the light of Christ's sacrifice for us. It's been a while since my theology classes and I know that I don't remember all the correct terms for this type of an inquiry [I'm trying to think right now of what theology we debated when discussing natives in the jungle who have never heard or known of Christ]. Mostly, I'm just looking for some good solid statements on either side of the arguement to bring back to my group so that we can facilitate a better discussion.